Using the right blade is the key to cutting various materials.
Jigsaws are ideal for cutting curves and complex shapes in wood . Jigsaws are not good for making fast, long, straight cuts. Use a circular saw instead. When cutting wood, follow these guidelines:
Jigsaws work best for cutting softwood that’s no more than 1-1/2 in. thick and hardwood up to 3/4 in. thick. Jigsaw blades tend to bend when cutting curves in thicker boards, leaving a beveled edge rather than a square one. To keep the cut square, use a sharp blade and avoid forcing the saw through the cut.
To “plunge cut,” that is, make an entry saw cut into the middle of your wood, tip the jigsaw so that the blade is parallel to the workpiece and the saw’s weight rests on the front lip of the shoe. Start the saw at maximum speed, tilt the shoe and steadily lower the stabbing blade into the wood. I usually reserve plunge-cutting for rough work so that an errant blade doesn’t slash and mar expensive woods. In fragile material, drill a 1/2-in. starter hole to safely position the blade for a cut.
For quick cutting, use a coarser blade. But note that the coarser the blade, the more sanding later.
Most wood-cutting blades for jigsaws are designed so the teeth cut on the upstroke. For fine work demanding less chipping—in wood veneers, for example—choose a “downstroke-cutting” blade . An alternative is to place painter’s or masking tape on the cutting line path before drawing on the pattern line.
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